How to disable autoplay videos

I love the internet. I live on it, research on it, buy stuff on it, talk to the world on it and run a business through it. I also hate certain aspects of it. I hate how ads are managed and I hate it when web administrators force a video to play on the page even when you ask it not to. Today I’m going to show you how to stop those annoying autoplay videos.

Autoplay videos have to be one of the most annoying things on the internet. I have no idea when website owners think you want to see or hear a video without even choosing to do so. It’s bad manners and not recommended by any usability expert that I have ever heard of. It uses mobile data without your permission, slows down page loading and annoys me no end. Fortunately, there are ways to stop it from happening.

Stop videos playing automatically on a web page

I use Firefox as a browser but I know a lot of you use Chrome. I’ll show you how to disable autoplay videos on both. I will also introduce you to a neat browser plugin that catches all those videos the default browser setting does not.

Disable autoplay videos in Firefox

I think Firefox is the best but the setting to disable autoplay videos doesn’t often work. I use this setting along with a browser extension to get what I want. Here’s how to disable videos from within Firefox.

  1. Type ‘about:config’ into a new Firefox tab.
  2. Type ‘media.autoplay’ into the search box.
  3. Change ‘media.autoplay.default’ from 0 to 1.

This will disable some autoplay videos from working. You will find it doesn’t work on all of them though. You can change the setting to ‘2’ if you want to be prompted to play the video rather than block them.

Disable autoplay videos in Chrome

Chrome also offers a setting to disable autoplay videos.

  1. Type ‘chrome://flags/autoplay-policy’ into a new tab.
  2. Type ‘autoplay’ into the search box.
  3. Select ‘Document user activation is required’ in the dropdown box next to Autoplay Policy.

This tells Chrome to not play the video unless you click play.

Disable HTML5 Autoplay

Even if you change the default setting on your browser, some videos will still get through. That’s especially true for some websites and social networks. So I also use a neat browser extension called Disable HTML5 Autoplay. The extension is unmaintained on Chrome right now but still works.

It’s available for both Firefox and for Chrome and is well worth using. It blocks all videos that I have come across and doesn’t get in the way at all.

Do you know of any other reliable ways to disable videos from autoplaying when you land on a web page?